Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) is a bank clerk that is an incredibly nice man. Unfortunately, he is too nice for his own good and is a pushover when it comes to confrontations. After one of the worst days of his life, he finds a mask that depicts Loki, the Norse night god of mischief. Now, when he puts it on, he becomes his inner, self: a cartoon romantic wild man. However, a small time crime boss, Dorian Tyrel (Peter Greene), comes across this character dubbed "The Mask" by the media. After Ipkiss's alter ego indirectly kills his friend in crime, Tyrel now wants this green-faced goon destroyed. Written by
Ian Pugh <email@example.com>
At the beginning of the "Cuban Pete" performance, the tops of Stanley's black knee pads are visible in some shots. See more »
[explaining how The Mask works]
It's like it brings your innermost desires to life. If deep down you're a little repressed, and a hopeless romantic, you become some kind of love-crazy wild man.
And if you're someone like Dorian?
Then we're all in big trouble.
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When all the credits have finished some jazz drumming is heard. Then the familiar sounds of The Mask are heard saying "Yo-ho-ho-ho" (in a very drawn voice) then the sound of The Mask spinning away is heard straight after. See more »
It's hard to use Jim Carrey in a movie. He's very good at his rapid-fire mimicry routine, but how can it ever be anything other than a diversion from both character and story? (Very rarely is it a pleasant diversion. `Ace Ventura' was unendurable.) And yet, what else can you do with him?
The `Mask' solves the problem so neatly it almost cheats. The story is ABOUT someone with a double life - so by day, Carrey does all the character and story stuff, and by night, wearing the mask, he does his stand-up schtick. The two are as integrated as they need to be. It's pulled off with such an air of innocence I can't possibly complain. SOME of the clichés (those to do with the police especially) are so very worn out that even the most thorough of movie-goers is surprised to find them still alive; but the writer seems to have been honestly unaware that they were clichés, so that's okay.
I was told that the film is saturated with animation in-jokes. I couldn't spot very many. Stanley-with-the-mask has the soul of a Tex Avery cartoon character: I suspect that's all there is to it. The computer animation, or the computer-enhancement of Carrey's animation, is tastefully done. It never looks pasted over the top of the footage the way so much computer animation does. (`The Mask' failed to win an Oscar in the special effects category - like so many other more deserving films, it was beaten by `Forrest Gump'.) The Cuban dance numbers are irresistible, as is Stanley's pet dog. Sure, `The Mask' is no masterpiece, but it's a clever, charming film that richly deserved its runaway success.
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